Tags

Type your tag names separated by a space and hit enter

Pestilence, riots, lynchings and desecration of corpses. The sleep of reason produces monsters.
Infez Med 2016; 24(2):163-71IM

Abstract

Vampirism has been a component of Central European and Balkan folklore since the Middle Ages and was often believed to be responsible for the transmission of serious infectious diseases such as plague and tuberculosis/consumption. Vampirism was believed to be spread within the same family or village and if the rite of the so-called second burial after death was not performed. The practice of "second burial" entailed exhumation of the body and the removal of the shroud from the mouth of the corpse, and a search for evidence if the corpse had chewed the cloth. If the shroud was chewed, a handful of earth or a brick was put into the body's mouth so that the vampire could no longer harm others. In some cases, the corpse was decapitated and an awl, made of ash, was thrust into its chest. Furthermore, the limbs were nailed down to prevent its movements. Remarkably, these beliefs were not restricted to the popular classes, but were also debated by theologians, political scientists at the height of the eighteenth century (Enlightenment). In the Habsburg Empire, this question attained such important political, social as well as health connotations as to force the Empress Maria Theresa to entrust an ad hoc study to her personal physician Gerard van Swieten with a view to determining what was true about the apparitions of vampires that occurred throughout central Europe and in the Balkans. The result of this investigation led to a ban on the "second burial" rites. Despite this prohibition, the practice of necrophilia on the bodies of suspected people continued, and both a cultured and popular literature on vampirism continued to flourish well into the nineteenth century.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Unità Operativa di Malattie Infettive, Policlinico S. Orsola-Malpighi, Università di Bologna, Italy.Unità Operativa di Medicina Interna, Ospedale di Budrio, Azienda Unità Sanitaria Locale di Bologna, Italy.

Pub Type(s)

Historical Article
Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

27367330

Citation

Sabbatani, Sergio, and Sirio Fiorino. "Pestilence, Riots, Lynchings and Desecration of Corpses. the Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters." Le Infezioni in Medicina, vol. 24, no. 2, 2016, pp. 163-71.
Sabbatani S, Fiorino S. Pestilence, riots, lynchings and desecration of corpses. The sleep of reason produces monsters. Infez Med. 2016;24(2):163-71.
Sabbatani, S., & Fiorino, S. (2016). Pestilence, riots, lynchings and desecration of corpses. The sleep of reason produces monsters. Le Infezioni in Medicina, 24(2), pp. 163-71.
Sabbatani S, Fiorino S. Pestilence, Riots, Lynchings and Desecration of Corpses. the Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters. Infez Med. 2016 Jun 1;24(2):163-71. PubMed PMID: 27367330.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Pestilence, riots, lynchings and desecration of corpses. The sleep of reason produces monsters. AU - Sabbatani,Sergio, AU - Fiorino,Sirio, PY - 2016/7/2/entrez PY - 2016/7/2/pubmed PY - 2017/11/29/medline SP - 163 EP - 71 JF - Le infezioni in medicina JO - Infez Med VL - 24 IS - 2 N2 - Vampirism has been a component of Central European and Balkan folklore since the Middle Ages and was often believed to be responsible for the transmission of serious infectious diseases such as plague and tuberculosis/consumption. Vampirism was believed to be spread within the same family or village and if the rite of the so-called second burial after death was not performed. The practice of "second burial" entailed exhumation of the body and the removal of the shroud from the mouth of the corpse, and a search for evidence if the corpse had chewed the cloth. If the shroud was chewed, a handful of earth or a brick was put into the body's mouth so that the vampire could no longer harm others. In some cases, the corpse was decapitated and an awl, made of ash, was thrust into its chest. Furthermore, the limbs were nailed down to prevent its movements. Remarkably, these beliefs were not restricted to the popular classes, but were also debated by theologians, political scientists at the height of the eighteenth century (Enlightenment). In the Habsburg Empire, this question attained such important political, social as well as health connotations as to force the Empress Maria Theresa to entrust an ad hoc study to her personal physician Gerard van Swieten with a view to determining what was true about the apparitions of vampires that occurred throughout central Europe and in the Balkans. The result of this investigation led to a ban on the "second burial" rites. Despite this prohibition, the practice of necrophilia on the bodies of suspected people continued, and both a cultured and popular literature on vampirism continued to flourish well into the nineteenth century. SN - 1124-9390 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/27367330/Pestilence,_riots,_lynchings_and_desecration_of_corpses._The_sleep_of_reason_produces_monsters L2 - http://www.infezmed.it/index.php/article?Anno=2016&numero=2&ArticoloDaVisualizzare=Vol_24_2_2016_163 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -